Staff cribs and concerns go inside the glassdoor

13 Sep,2011

By Indu Nandakumar

The last time, Atira, a software engineer with one of India’s growing software firms, wanted to complain about certain things she did not like about her workplace, she raised her concerns at an employee discussion forum within the company. But the next time she wants to raise a similar issue, Atira, 23, says that she would choose glassdoor.com instead.

A growing number of websites like glassdoor.com, insidebuzz.com and salary.com, where employees and even prospective ones – can post their complaints, discuss salary details, lodge interview questions and even rate their managers, are gaining in popularity. The crucial difference from other other discussion forums or HR blogs lies in the independence of these websites and the fact that all reviews or discussions are done unanimously.

But what do such platforms mean for the India Inc? “We track this more often than regular internal HR surveys. I am more concerned about the ratings we get on a glassdoor than all the bad press,” said the CEO at one of the top 10 Indian technology firms..

“Most companies try to keep a tab on what’s being talked about them in the online space. While many of them monitor employee discussions on social networks and blogs, companies from the IT, travel and hospitality and financial services sector are beginning to track sites such as glassdoor.com”, says Mr Jessy Paul, CEO of Paul Writer Strategic Advisory and former Chief Marketing Officer at Wipro.

“Even better, companies like Jet Airways, Kingfisher Airlines and Cafe Coffee Day not just monitor employee conversations, but they also take necessary steps and respond back to their employees,” she adds

US-based glassdoor.com, where nearly 200 Indian firms have so far been reviewed and rated on a scale of one to five, 20% of the traffic comes from India and the UK. “In the last one year, we have received more than 65,000 reviews, salary reports and interview questions from all the 200 Indian companies listed on the site”, says glassdoor.com spokesperson Scott Dobroski.

Launched in 2008, glassdoor.com is one of the biggest in this space and has more than 1.75 million items of content, reviews of more than 120,000 companies and adds nearly 5 million new users every month. But how does glassdoor.com ensure the information they receive is accurate? “We have a multi-tier system to ensure accuracy, says Dobroski.

“We also have a very comprehensive technological review and reviews by actual people who read through every single piece of content. To give you a better idea of how seriously we take the data we receive, about 15% of the data that is submitted to us to be published on the site is actually rejected, because it does not meet our community guidelines or it is suspicious”, he added.

So, what has sparked the interest among employees to use such sites? For one, it is the absolute transparency and anonymity that these websites offer, says Ms Sangeetha Lala, vice-president of TeamLease Services, a temp staffing and human resource services firm.

According to her, popularity of sites like glassdoor.com and insidebuzz.com are best understood in the context of a rising interest among job seekers to know more about the organisations. “People want to join the best of companies. They want to know everything about the organisation they are going to join.”

Ms Sangeetha says that at TeamLease, many of the mid and senior level job seekers ask how they can do more research on the organizations before they join them. Thanks to millions of discussion forums on the social networks and blogs, job seekers are in no dearth of information. But where these websites score is because of the supposed authenticity they vouch for. “But I would recommend that both employees and job seekers verify the authenticity of information on such sites before they take a decision based on the data”, she added.

For Mr Prasanth Mohanachandran, co founder of Mumbai based Agencydigi, sites such as glassdoor.com and insidebuzz.com does what a burrp.com does to restaurants. “They give you an inside view into what’s going on within the organizations – and what people who are actually working are talking about the work environment”, he said.

Mr Prasanth says that in the recent years, most of the companies give much more importance to employee discussions on the web. “I know of many firms which check who their employees are networking with on LinkedIn and what they are discussing on other networks,” he says.

While some of them go easy on this, Mr Prasanth says that certain organisations restrict its employees from discussing internal matters on the web. “Like for instance, the Indian Army would not allow its soldiers use social networks such as facebook. On the other hand, some of IT firms have set up online discussion forums where their employees can come and talk.”

 

Source: The Economic Times

Copyright  2011, Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All Rights Reserved

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